Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Nature. 2015 Dec 24;528(7583):504-9. doi: 10.1038/nature16461. Epub 2015 Nov 26.

Complete nitrification by Nitrospira bacteria.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science, Division of Microbial Ecology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria.
2
Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology, Research Center of Biotechnology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky Ave. 33, bld. 2, 119071 Moscow, Russia.
3
Center for Microbial Communities, Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg University, Fredrik Bajers Vej 7H, 9220 Aalborg, Denmark.
4
Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Department of Proteomics, Permoserstrasse 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany.
5
Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Department of Metabolomics, Permoserstrasse 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany.
6
Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science, Division of Computational Systems Biology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria.
7
DVGW-Forschungsstelle TUHH, Hamburg University of Technology, 21073 Hamburg, Germany.

Abstract

Nitrification, the oxidation of ammonia via nitrite to nitrate, has always been considered to be a two-step process catalysed by chemolithoautotrophic microorganisms oxidizing either ammonia or nitrite. No known nitrifier carries out both steps, although complete nitrification should be energetically advantageous. This functional separation has puzzled microbiologists for a century. Here we report on the discovery and cultivation of a completely nitrifying bacterium from the genus Nitrospira, a globally distributed group of nitrite oxidizers. The genome of this chemolithoautotrophic organism encodes the pathways both for ammonia and nitrite oxidation, which are concomitantly activated during growth by ammonia oxidation to nitrate. Genes affiliated with the phylogenetically distinct ammonia monooxygenase and hydroxylamine dehydrogenase genes of Nitrospira are present in many environments and were retrieved on Nitrospira-contigs in new metagenomes from engineered systems. These findings fundamentally change our picture of nitrification and point to completely nitrifying Nitrospira as key components of nitrogen-cycling microbial communities.

PMID:
26610024
PMCID:
PMC5152751
DOI:
10.1038/nature16461
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center